Skip to content

Media Center

Washington, D.C., November  9, 2012 (PAHO/WHO)- Three government-supported anti-malaria programs from Paraguay, Brazil, and Ecuador were named Malaria Champions of the Americas this week for their success in reducing the burden of malaria through improved diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance.


The winners were honored during an event marking the 6th annual Malaria Day in the Americas, at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

The top Malaria Champion of the Americas award went to the National Malaria Control Program of Paraguay, which has reduced the burden of malaria by focusing on the elimination of local transmission and the use of a systematic model for testing, treating, and tracking malaria cases that emphasizes community volunteers, strategic supervision, support of personnel, assurance of quality services, and effective use of local resources.

Paraguay’s National Malaria Control Program (SENEPA) is geographically decentralized into 18 zones and 40 sectors, effectively covering all departments and districts. Its surveillance system consists of a network of 4,868 volunteers working in coordination with local reporting units to ensure timely detection of suspicious cases.  As of 2011, the number of malaria cases reported in Paraguay was down 99% compared with 2002. The country’s last malaria-related death was reported in 1989.

Two other programs were also named Malaria Champions of the Americas 2012. The State Health Department of Acre, Brazil, was honored for its integrated malaria control program, which has helped reduce malaria cases from 140.2 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2006 to 30.8 per 1,000 in 2011.

Ecuador’s Malaria Control and Surveillance program was recognized for helping reduce malaria incidence by 70% over the past two years through efforts to strengthen diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up and to eliminate local transmission where feasible.

“It’s our hope that it gets better for our countries in terms of reducing malaria cases and deaths,” said Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director of PAHO/WHO. Countries of the Americas have committed to further reduce malaria-related cases, implement efforts to eliminate malaria in areas deemed feasible, reverse the trend in countries that saw an increased number of malaria cases; and prevent the reintroduction in countries declared malaria-free.

“These are tall commitments and orders, especially because oftentimes when things have significantly improved, there is a tendency to slow down, think that we have done enough, and believe that the battle is won. Also sometimes, the choices and priorities we make inadvertently place our achievers at a disadvantage instead of recognizing them for their good work,” Dr. Roses said. “In many cases, when we reduce malaria burden, funding and resources for these programs also diminish. This is a huge mistake especially if our goal is to eliminate local malaria transmission”.     

The countries of the Americas have significantly decreased their malaria burden over the past decade. The number of malaria cases in the Region declined by 59% between 2000 and 2011, and the number of malaria-related deaths declined by 70%. Despite these achievements, malaria transmission persists in 21 countries, and some 23 million people in the Region continue to be at risk. Malaria experts warn that countries that have succeeded in lowering their malaria burdens are particularly at risk of reduced support and commitment from various stakeholders.

Participants in a panel discussion organized for Malaria Day in the Americas noted that funding has increased over the past decade for prevention efforts, such as long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying. However, less attention has been paid to the need to expand diagnostic testing, treatment, and surveillance. Malaria experts say that these three areas are critical for advancing the Millennium Development Goals and the objective set by the World Health Assembly to reduce the burden of malaria by at least 75% by 2015. Through its T3 initiative (Test. Treat. Track.), PAHO/WHO encourages partners, donors, and malaria-endemic countries to substantially increase investment in diagnostic testing, treatment and surveillance capacity, coverage and infrastructure.

“Highlighting the best practices and great work that our Malaria Champions this year in Brazil, Ecuador, and Paraguay are doing is one way to catalyze improvement in other countries. The replication of these best practices when appropriate in other parts of the world is really the best reward possible,” said PAHO Deputy Director, Dr. Jon Andrus. “If done well, as our Champions have demonstrated this past year, elimination of local transmission of malaria in many areas can and will happen”. Assistant Director, Dr. Socorro Gross called to “protect the gains” and keep investing in the battle against malaria to achieve the elimination of this disease.

PAHO/WHO also supports member countries’ malaria efforts through its coordination of the Amazon Malaria Initiative (AMI) and the Amazon Network for the Surveillance of Antimalarial Drug Resistance (RAVREDA), which have received financial support from USAID since 2001. PAHO/WHO signed a new agreement with USAID this year to continue supporting AMI/RAVREDA and ensure technical cooperation that helps countries further reduce the malaria burden. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has also supported several PAHO member states in the areas of microscopy diagnosis, rapid diagnostic tests; the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), and improvement of malaria surveillance.

Launched in 2007, Malaria Day in the Americas aims to raise awareness, build commitment, and mobilize action to advance malaria goals and targets at the global, regional, country, and community levels. The Malaria Champions of the Americas contest, launched in 2008, seeks to identify, celebrate, and provide avenues to emulate best practices and success stories in malaria prevention and control. Both initiatives are organized each year by PAHO/WHO, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), and George Washington University’s Center for Global Health.

PAHO, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).




Media Contacts:  

Leticia Linn,, Tel. + 202 974 3440, Mobile +1 202 701 4005, Donna Eberwine-Villagran,, Tel. +1 202 974 3122, Mobile +1 202 316 5469, Sebastián Oliel,, Phone +1 202 974 3459, Mobile 202 316 5679, Knowledge Management and Communications, PAHO/WHO–

Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 13:37

PAHO Presents an Interactive Geographic Distribution Map of Priority Neglected Infectious Diseases in the Americas (03/25/2015)

Mapa interactivo de las enfermedades infecciosas desatendidas prioritarias en las AméricasNeglected Infectious Diseases in the Americas continue to affect millions of individuals, but mostly, those communities comprised by indigenous populations from the countries and Afro-descendants born on the continent. In both cases, these and other populations generally represent the poorest and most-marginalized groups of their countries. 


PAHO/WHO supports CDC-led effort to eliminate malaria on Hispaniola by 2020 (02/25/2015)

malaria paho cdc

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has joined a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that seeks to eliminate indigenous cases of malaria on the island of Hispaniola by 2020. 

WHO urges governments to increase investment to tackle neglected tropical diseases (02/19/2015)

19 FEBRUARY 2015 ¦GENEVA/LONDON/ADDIS ABABA –  The World Health Organization (WHO) urges affected countries to scale up their investment in tackling 17 neglected tropical diseases in order to improve the health and well-being of more than 1.5 billion people. This investment would represent as little as 0.1% of current domestic expenditure on health in affected low and middle income countries for the period 2015-2030.

2015 PAHO/TDR Small Grant Programme (02/09/2015)

The Small Grants Programme is a joint initiative of TDR and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in place since 1995. The goal of the research proposal funded under this call is to develop operational strategies that integrate and deliver joint interventions to control or eliminate infectious diseases of poverty.

Leprosy cases declined 37% in the Americas over a decade (01/30/2015)


PAHO year in review: 2014 public health highlights in the Americas (12/24/2014)

PAHO/WHO honors 2014 ‘Malaria Champions of the Americas’ (11/07/2014)

Malaria in the Americas Forum 2014: Accelerating Malaria Elimination in the Americas (11/04/2014)

Paraguay inicia el camino hacia la certificación de la eliminación del Paludismo (11/04/2014)

Technical Note on transgenic Mosquitoes Engineered for Aedes aegypti Control (11/03/2014)

Countries of the Americas aim to halt transmission of schistosomiasis by 2020 (10/28/2014)

IV Jornadas Internacionales sobre Enfermedades Transmisibles por Vectores y V Jornadas Internacionales sobre enfermedad de Chagas en el Gran Chaco Santiago del Estero, Argentina (10/16/2014)

Save the Date: Changing the Face of Chagas Disease: Scaling Up Diagnosis, Treatment and R&D for People Living with Chagas Disease in the Americas (10/09/2014)

As countries advance toward disease elimination, the need for sustained funding remains (10/01/2014)

PAHO and The Carter Center congratulate Ecuador as second in the Americas to achieve elimination of onchocerciasis (river blindness) (09/29/2014)

Informe Epidemiológico presenta la situación de la Leishmaniasis en las Américas en 2012 (09/05/2014)

Growing up without parasites (08/25/2014)

Taller "Abordaje de la emergencia y dispersión de la leishmaniasis en la frontera de Argentina, Brasil y Paraguay" en el marco del proyecto sobre leishmaniasis (07/17/2014)

“Malaria Champions of the Americas” extends deadline for nominating best practices on integrated efforts against vector-borne disease (06/25/2014)

La Provincia de San Luis, República Argentina certificó la interrupción de la transmisión vectorial de la enfermedad de Chagas (06/11/2014)

Five-fold increase in dengue cases in the Americas over the past decade (05/29/2014)

Brazil and Venezuela agree to joint action to eliminate river blindness in Yanomami area (05/20/2014)

Se formuló un decálogo básico de atención médica de la enfermedad de Chagas a nivel primario (05/03/2014)

"Malaria Champions of the Americas" seeks best practices on integrated efforts against vector-borne disease (04/25/2014)

On World Health Day, soccer star Leonel Messi helps to raise awareness about Chagas’ Disease (04/07/2014)

Half the population of the Americas is at risk of diseases carried by small insects (04/04/2014)

Call to Action: “Step up the fight against vector-borne diseases in the Americas” (03/31/2014)

Brazil moves towards the elimination of the transmission of Lymphatic Filariasis (03/21/2014)

PAHO Director Message on World Health Day 2014 (03/18/2014)

Países de las Américas implementarán un protocolo de vigilancia integrada del dengue (03/06/2014)


PAHO Director thanks international malaria partners at U.S. Capitol (12/12/2013)

Countries of the Americas have reduced malaria deaths by 70% since 2000, but 145 million people in the region remain at risk (12/11/2013)

Malaria is present in 21 countries in the Americas (12/11/2013)

70 years of Bambui, a living story of Chagas Disease (12/05/2013)

La OPS participa en el XI Congreso Centroamericano y del Caribe de Parasitología y Medicina Tropical (In Spanish) (11/27/2013)

Reunión Regional ¿Porqué no podemos controlar el Aedes aegypti? Situación Actual y próximos pasos (Spanish only) (11/25/2013)

PAHO to honor Malaria Champions of the Americas on 7th Annual Malaria Day in the Americas (11/04/2013)

Reunión Regional de alineación de la Estrategia de Gestión Integrada para la prevención y control del Dengue de la OPS/OMS (EGI-Dengue) (10/11/2013)

Universal access to eye care could prevent most blindness (10/10/2013)

Health leaders set course for Pan American health action and progress toward universal coverage (10/04/2013)

‘People in the Americas are healthier and stronger’ thanks to Pan American cooperation in health, says PAHO Director (09/30/2013)

Filiariasis linfática: hacia su eliminación en 2020 (09/05/2013)

Colombia is first country in the world to eliminate river blindness (07/29/2013)

An educational video game on dengue (07/26/2013)

Municipios de Colombia alcanzan interrupción de la transmisión vectorial intra domiciliaria de Trypanosoma cruzi, por R.prolixus (07/08/2013)

Dominican Republic strengthens actions to evaluate the lymphatic filariasis transmission in the country (06/18/2013)

“Malaria Champions of the Americas” contest receives nominations until July 5 (06/17/2013)

Certification of the Interruption of Vectoral Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in Belize (06/12/2013)

Latin American countries gather to work towards the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) (06/12/2013)

Plan Decenal de Salud Pública 2012-2021 de Colombia (06/12/2013)

PAHO welcomes countries’ commitment to eliminate 12 neglected diseases from the Americas by 2015 (06/11/2013)

Experts meet to enhance synergies for soil-transmitted helminthiases control in the Americas (05/31/2013)

PAHO deputy director describes health progress in the Americas at OAS (05/22/2013)

Honduras expands deworming of children in remote communities during vaccination campaigns (05/12/2013)

PAHO/WHO to support Guyana and Suriname in studies of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) (05/10/2013)

Workshop for Training on Regional Guidance for Implementation of Integrated Deworming Actions - Bogota, Colombia 13-15 May 2013 (05/09/2013)

Intensifying Integrated Efforts for Control of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases in the Region of the Americas - Bogotá, Colombia 16 and 17 May 2013 (05/09/2013)

La República Dominicana realizó Jornada Nacional de Desparasitación integrada a la Semana de Vacunación de las Américas del 2013 (05/01/2013)

“Malaria Champions of the Americas” contest seeks best practices that integrate other health solutions (04/25/2013)

Décimo Primera Semana de Vacunación en Honduras incluirá campaña de desparasitación en cuatro departamentos del país (04/20/2013)

Honduras inicia campaña de desparasitación contra geohelmintos en cuatro departamentos del país, en el marco de la Semana de la Vacunación (04/20/2013)

Presidente del Paraguay lanza campaña de desparasitación nacional (04/17/2013)

Curso a distancia de autoaprendizaje de Leishmaniasis en las Américas: diagnóstico y tratamiento (04/14/2013)

Misión de Evaluación Internacional de la Prevención, Control y Atención de la Enfermedad de Chagas en Argentina (03/26/2013)

Salud y Educación firman acuerdo para ejecutar campaña antiparasitaria nacional (03/25/2013)

Misión de Evaluación de la situación epidemiológica y de control de la enfermedad de Chagas en el Departamento de Alto Paraguay (03/24/2013)

Ministry of Health of Brazil, started a deworming and leprosy case-finding campaign (03/20/2013)

Progress in the fight against neglected infectious diseases in the Americas and the world (01/15/2013)

New year, new materials: PAHO releases an infographic to continue the fight against Hepatitis in the Americas (01/11/2013)

World Malaria Report 2012 (01/10/2013)

13º International Dengue Course (01/08/2013)


In the Americas, malaria cases have declined nearly 60% since 2000 (12/20/2012)

Departamento de Potosí, Bolivia, es certificado por interrupción de la transmisión vectorial de Trypanosoma cruzi (agente de la enfermedad de Chagas) (12/01/2012)

PAHO Deputy Director urges integrated approach to neglected tropical diseases (11/23/2012)

Call for Applications to the Regional Green Light Committee (rGLC) (11/15/2012)

PAHO Honors 2012 Malaria Champions of the Americas (11/09/2012)

On 6th Annual Malaria Day in the Americas, PAHO Will Honor Malaria Champions of the Americas (10/10/2012)

On 6th Annual Malaria Day in the Americas, PAHO Will Honor Malaria Champions of the Americas (10/10/2012)

Documento de Santiago del Estero. Nuevas orientaciones para consenso en organización y estrategia de la atención de Chagas (10/09/2012)

OPS llama a reforzar lucha contra hepatitis, una enfermedad “silenciosa” que afecta a millones de personas en las Américas (07/26/2012)

PAHO events during the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. (07/19/2012)

Curso Internacional de Intervención Integral de Dengue (07/11/2012)

New CDC test for dengue approved (07/03/2012)

Argentina: Santiago del Estero Marks Key Milestone in Chagas control in a hyperendemic area (In Spanish) (07/02/2012)

The Region of the Americas is preparing the commemoration of "World Hepatitis Day" (06/24/2012)

Evalúan Plan Nacional para prevenir enfermedades infecciosas desatendidas (In Spanish) (06/20/2012)

La OPS celebra la primera Reunión Regional sobre Hepatitis Virales en América Latina y el Caribe (06/19/2012)

Resultados y conclusiones de un taller en prevención de Chagas en Brasilia (In Spanish) (06/11/2012)

Uruguay es el 1º país de América Latina libre del insecto que transmite el mal de chagas (05/24/2012)

Countries of the Americas promote integrated action to eliminate neglected diseases (05/17/2012)

Experts to analyze progress toward elimination of trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness (05/11/2012)

News for the STH Control Community. Children Without Worms. Sharing Knowledge and Success Stories (04/26/2012)

Guatemala es sede de la segunda reunión regional para la eliminación del tracoma en las Américas (04/18/2012)

Honduras: primer país del Continente con un plan nacional para prevención, atención, control y eliminación de enfermedades infecciosas desatendidas (04/12/2012)

Se realiza el “Taller Para Elaborar la Norma Nacional de la Leishmaniasis” (In Spanish) (03/30/2012)

Press Release: Private and Public Partners Unite to Combat 10 Neglected Tropical Diseases by 2020 (01/30/2012)


World Malaria Report 2011 (12/15/2011)

Evaluación de terreno en Argentina confirma notables avances en el control de la enfermedad de Chagas (12/06/2011)

PAHO: To remove the NTDs we must step up not only our Health sector strategies but our Poverty-Reduction Strategies (12/06/2011)

USAID Grants PAHO $5 Million to Improve Health in Latin America and the Caribbean (11/21/2011)

Colombia, el primer país de las Américas que elimina la oncocercosis (11/14/2011)

PAHO Honors Malaria Champions of the Americas 2011 (11/09/2011)

Países de las Américas acordaron plan para reducir la malaria, prevenir su reintroducción y mantener los logros (09/29/2011)

AMI/RAVREDA celebró 10 años de lucha contra la malaria en el Amazonas (09/15/2011)

Celebrating 10 Years of Collaboration: Looking into the Future Together (09/12/2011)

Directora de la OPS: es urgente integrar y potenciar acciones, recursos y alianzas para eliminar las Enfermedades Desatendidas en las Américas (08/18/2011)

PAHO/WHO Warns of Growing Health Toll of Hepatitis (07/27/2011)

Tackling and Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) with Common Tools but Innovative Applications of Knowledge is a Moral Imperative (07/11/2011)

Successful Interruption of Onchocerciasis in a Focus in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (06/01/2011)

TDR Wins 2011 Gates Award for Global Health (05/20/2011)

El control de las enfermedades transmisibles, 19a ed. (05/20/2011)

Bolivia alcanza un hito clave en la lucha contra la enfermedad de Chagas (05/17/2011)

“Malaria Champions of the Americas” Seeks Nominations of Integrated Approaches and Synergies in Efforts against Malaria (04/26/2011)

Some Neglected Diseases Could be Eliminated in the Americas, PAHO Paper Says (02/19/2011)

PAHO Director: Reducing Poverty is Key to Face Neglected Diseases (02/10/2011)

12th International Dengue Course (8-19 August 2011) (01/05/2011)


Rhodnius prolixus en Centroamérica, un peligroso vector de la enfermedad de Chagas que deja de serlo (12/12/2010)

Aedes Aegypti: medidas para el control del vector (11/29/2010)

PAHO Names "Malaria Champions of the Americas 2010" (11/04/2010)

PAHO Celebrates Fourth Annual “Malaria Day in the Americas," Recognizes “Malaria Champions" (10/29/2010)

Moquegua logró interrumpir transmisión de milenaria enfermedad de chagas en su región (09/20/2010)

Se realizará certificación de la eliminación de la transmisión vectorial de la enfermedad de Chagas en la región Moquegua - Perú (09/14/2010)

Expertos en resistencia a los antimaláricos se reúnen en Panamá (07/14/2010)

World Malaria Day: Counting Malaria Out (04/28/2010)

Malaria Burden More than Halved in the Americas (04/22/2010)

Prevention of Blindness and Eye Care (03/30/2010)


PAHO Recognizes "Winning Global Health Solutions" (12/15/2009)

PAHO and Canada Target Communicable Diseases in South America (11/19/2009)

Health Ministers Set Ambitious Agenda for the Americas (10/02/2009)

PAHO, PAHEF, and The George Washington University launch the Malaria Champions of the Americas Award (06/16/2009)

PAHO, PAHEF, and The George Washington University launch the Malaria Champions of the Americas Award (06/16/2009)

XI International Dengue Course (Havana, Cuba, 10-21 August 2009) (04/01/2009)

XI International Dengue Course (Havana, Cuba, 10-21 August 2009) (04/01/2009)

Ministers Commit to New Action in Health (02/02/2009)


PAHO, IDB and Sabin refine fight against neglected diseases in Latin America and Caribbean (12/17/2008)

Malaria in the Americas: No Time to Ease Up (11/06/2008)

An Achievable Dream: Eliminating some Diseases from the Region (02/01/2008)


Meeting of National Directors of Epidemiology and Malaria Programs (11/11/2005)

Vth Meeting of the Surveillance Network for Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Amazon Countries (04/23/2005)


Third Joint Meeting of the Networks for Surveillance of Emerging Infectious Diseases (03/01/2004)


2nd Meeting of the Surveillance Network for Emerging Diseases in the Amazon and Southern Cone Regions (03/25/2002)

2nd Meeting of the Surveillance Network for Emerging Diseases in the Amazon and Southern Cone Regions (03/25/2002)

2nd Meeting of the Surveillance Network for Emerging Diseases in the Amazon and Southern Cone Regions (03/25/2002)

2nd Meeting of the Surveillance Network for Emerging Diseases in the Amazon and Southern Cone Regions (03/25/2002)

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

© Pan American Health Organization. All rights reserved.